Monday, March 02, 2015

Glen retain Macdonald Cup against a stuffy Strath side.


Glenurquhart retained the Macdonald Cup with a clear 3-0 victory over ancient rivals Strathglass and while the result was decisive enough, it was a competitive game and a number of the young Strathglass players showed that they will be a force to be reckoned with in North Division 1 this season.
Last week the Glen ran out 5-1 winners over visitors Kilmallie and it has to be said the margin of victory was a bit of a surprise to all at Balbeg. It must be remembered though that Kilmallie were without their young keeper and they had to weaken their outfield from the start of the match by pulling Michael Rodgers back into goals. Added to that they suffered a number of unfortunate injuries including one which may come back to haunt them later in the season-namely an ankle knock to John Stewart who has been without fail their most high profile player over the last decade.
The Glen’s goals were fine and for the most part well taken and one was especially fine-goal number 2 which came in 25 minutes. Fraser Heath knocked a ball out to Eddie Tembo and he fired over a high ball to the far post where Lewis Maclennan was on hand to glance it into the net with the heel of his club.
This week’s Macdonald Cup encounter was refereed by John Angus Gillies of Skye and it commenced as was appropriate with a minute’s silence in memory of the late Dolly Fraser of Shewglie. Dolly was an institution in the Glen and a lifelong supporter along with her late husband Danny who was one of the folk who instigated the revival of shinty in the Glen in 1948.
The opening stages of the match were very even though the Glen put together some fluent forward moves which unfortunately did not result in an accurate shot on goal. As against Kilmallie the Glen defence marshalled by John Barr and club captain Andrew Corrigan played well and denied the Strathglass forwards clear opportunities on goal though it has to be said that they made Glen keeper Stuart Mackintosh look lively on a couple of occasions. At the other end Strath keeper Steve MacLachlan was in fine form and kept the Glen out until the 31st minute when buckshee back Michael Stokes, who had a fine game throughout conceded a free hit some 20 yards out. Lewis Maclennan quickly slipped the ball forward to Neale Reid and on the turn he whipped it past MacLachlan for the opener.

To the frustration of the Glen crowd there was no further scoring in the first half, though Lewis Maclennan had a strike ruled offside – and at the break the Glen management rang the changes. Eddie Tembo came on in the centreline and James “Frosty” Macpherson took his place in the forefront of the attack leaving Reid and Maclennan in supporting roles. The changes did not immediately take effect though Strath keeper MacLachlan made a series of excellent saves. Glen continued to press and eventually with 20 minutes to go made the breakthrough- James Macpherson fired a shot on target and the rebound from keeper MacLachlan fell to Neale Reid who poked it home. Within 10 minutes the Glen went three ahead when Macpherson latched on to a through ball and dispatched it purposefully past MacLachlan to put the issue beyond doubt.

After the match Glen captain Andrew Corrigan was presented with the Cup and retiring chairman Russell Fraser also received a presentation to mark his stepping down from the Club hot seat.
Player of the match? The Shewglie trophy went to Steve MacLachlan the Strathglass keeper for services rendered.

There were a number of other Strath players who turned in performances in particular youngster Josh Fraser who has excellent pace and stick work and Sam Todd at wing centre also played his part but the Wing Centre cannot sign off this match without a mention to Strathglass full back Donald Fraser- and the Wing Centre got the story from the mouth of the Treasurer himself. The Treasurer was going round the field doing a collection and happened to stop beside goal judge Billy Macleod of Glen fame and Alan Macleod the ex-Strath keeper. As the conversation continued the Treasurer lost focus on the match and suddenly realised that Donald Fraser was heading back towards the “D” to challenge Neale Reid and to save a probable goal he would have to play the ball out for a corner. If he drove it out full strength he was definitely going to do the Treasurer a mischief since he was less than 10 yards away. If it had been another Strath player there would have been no mercy-teach the old Glenner a lesson- but Donald is a true gent. He quickly buckled his wrist and chipped the ball high over the Treasurer’s balding pate. As he did so he gave a wee grin which let the Treasurer know that he had done it deliberately to save the distress of a fellow Fraser. No-one else in the crowd would have realised what had happened except the two Macleods who being Macleods had scuttled out of the way sharpish.
Earlier in the day, the Glen under 14s picked up the Slater’s Arms Cup courtesy of a 4-0 win over Strathglass youngsters. It was an entertaining game and the Glen goals came from Jed Stoddart (2) and Fergus Robertson (2). Glen captain full-back John Peteranna was presented with the cup by Jimmac Mackintosh former proprietor of the Slater’s.

Talking of presentations the final picture shows Glen Chieftain Alan Bell handing over a cheque for £1000 to the manager of the Glenurquhart Care Centre Carolanne Mainland. This money was raised at the Xmas SwINNdle which was organised by the Shinty Club and Isla Urquhart of the Loch Ness Inn with prizes, as was mentioned in an earlier blog, kindly provided by the Miller family of Loch Ness Gifts. We couldn’t avoid a second mention of this because the picture is so sweet in that it shows Centre user Tom Cave (l) and Alan (r) pinching a kiss from the mum of two Lovat players.

Finally and still on a charity theme , a cheque for £300 raised at Saturday’s Macdonald Cup match will be winging its way to the Isle of Skye as our contribution to the “Lucky 2B Here” heart-start charity set up a few years ago by Skye Camanachd’s Ross Cowie.

The pictures are from Sheena Lloyd , apart from the last one which shows the trophy back in its rightful place in the Loch Ness Inn where former Strathglass "hero" Roy Mackenzie was able to see it at close quarters for the first time in many years!!

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